Graduate Scholars Sought for Religions and Public Life Working Group

Kenan Institute for Ethics

Deadline: August 6, 2018

The Religions and Public Life Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics invites applications for graduate scholars for the academic year 2018-19.

Overview and Theme

The call is open to graduate and professional students, as well as postdocs, wishing to take part in monthly interdisciplinary student-led seminars on “Pain and Joy, Polemics and Praise in Religious Communities.” Projects exploring the ways in which members of religious communities represent, interpret, and act in response to suffering and good fortune, or to clashes between traditions and values, are especially welcome. However, the program conceives of religious experience and discourse broadly and will consider any project that investigates the extension of private devotion or ethical struggles into public contexts.

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics explores the role of religions in historical and cultural context as they influence the lives of their adherents, interact with each other across time and geography, and contribute to the formation of institutions that make up the public sphere. A joint endeavor with the Duke Divinity School, it is an interdisciplinary platform that puts scholars, students, and practitioners in conversation with one another through collaborative research, innovative teaching, and community engagement. Funding for the graduate scholars also comes from generous support from the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.


The graduate scholars will have the opportunity to develop their research interests and discuss recent scholarship. Members take active part in the events of Religions and Public Life and commit to attending monthly meetings throughout the academic year. Graduate scholars will write a think-piece or blog post relating their research to contemporary issues, to be published on the Religions and Public Life website at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Additionally, scholars will take part in an end-of-year conference.


Graduate scholars receive $1,250 for participation. The sum is provided in two payments, one in November and one in April. Ten (10) awards will be made.

Application and Deadline

To apply, please submit the materials listed below to Deirdre White ( by August 6, 2018, with the subject line: “Religions & Public Life graduate scholars.” Awards will be announced by August 15, 2018.

  • Curriculum vita
  • Project description (1-2 pages) describing how it connects to the theme of “Pain and Joy, Polemics and Praise in Religious Communities.” Please include your topic and research objectives.
  • Research budget